Causes Of Swollen Legs And Swollen Ankles

Although swollen legs or ankles may not always be a serious health issue, there could be underlying treatable medical causes. If you have been sitting, standing, or walking for an extended period and have swollen legs or ankles, it may be time to visit Vein Specialists in Fort Myers or Bonita Springs to learn more about the possible causes. Although leg and ankle swelling and pain are not always associated with vein issues, venous disease is a common cause, and if diagnosed early, there are minimally-invasive treatments that can prevent the more serious complications of untreated venous disease.

Common health issues that may cause swollen legs and ankles include:

  • Venous Insufficiency
  • Lymphedema
  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Obesity
  • Preeclampsia In Pregnancy
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Cirrhosis Of The Liver
  • Hypothyroidism
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Don’t Let Swollen Legs And Ankles Go Untreated

Ignoring swollen legs or ankles may not be in your best interest. Swollen legs and ankles could be a sign of a serious, undiagnosed health problem. Pain and tenderness in your legs, ankles, or feet are symptoms that may indicate the need to seek further assistance in determining the underlying cause.

If left untreated, swollen legs or ankles may lead to:

  • Poorly-Healing Wounds
  • Blood Clots In Your Legs
  • Infections

What To Do About Swollen Legs Or Ankles

You may think swollen legs or ankles don’t require a visit to the doctor, but leg and ankle swelling could be an indication of a serious problem. Since swollen legs and ankles are often related to vein disease, getting an expert evaluation of your veins by a vein specialist is a critical step in determining the cause and the best treatment of your swollen legs or ankles.

Quite often, non-vein specialist physicians may order a standard venous ultrasound to rule out deep vein thrombosis (DVT) for their patients with swollen legs or ankles, but this type of ultrasound does not usually evaluate the one-way valves in your leg veins to see if they are operating properly. Although examining your venous system for possible clots is extremely important, standard venous ultrasounds for DVT often miss the underlying cause of swollen legs: venous insufficiency. As a result, your initial clinical evaluation could result in a “normal” diagnosis or a “negative clot” result, which may rule out blood blots, but not venous insufficiency as the underlying problem.

Vein Specialists Knows Veins Best

Here at Vein Specialists in Fort Myers or Bonita Springs, we use the latest ultrasound equipment to get an inside look at how your vascular system is performing. Our experienced team of registered vascular sonographers will perform a comprehensive venous ultrasound on your legs, paying close attention to every detail to determine if the cause of your swollen legs or ankles is vein related. Based on the outcome of this comprehensive ultrasound, our Vein Specialists Team will help you decide on the best treatment for your swollen legs and ankles. We will do our best to get you on the road to healthier-feeling legs and ankles.

One really swollen leg that Vein Specialists can treat

How Diseased Veins Lead To Swollen Legs And Ankles

Venous insufficiency is a common cause of swollen ankles and occurs when the one-way valves in your leg veins are weakened or not functioning properly, causing blood to pool and pressure to increase inside your veins. The high venous pressure causes fluid, proteins, and blood cells to leak through the weakened walls of your leg veins into the soft tissue, especially around your lower legs and ankles.

Causes Of Venous Insufficiency

The leaky one-way valves in your leg veins are often the underlying cause of venous insufficiency and lead to swollen legs and ankles. These valves may become damaged due to several reasons, including:

  • Heredity
  • Advanced Age
  • Pregnancy
  • Sitting Or Standing For Extended Periods
  • Obesity
  • History Of Blood Clots (DVT)
  • Female Gender

Swollen Leg And Ankle Treatment Options

If venous insufficiency is the cause of your swollen legs and ankles, there are several treatment options available to you at Vein Specialists in Fort Myers and Bonita Springs, ranging from conservative compression therapy to minimally-invasive procedures to eliminate the underlying venous insufficiency. Depending on your diagnosis, our team at Vein Specialists will determine the most effective treatment option for you.

Compression Therapy

Unlike other swollen leg and ankle treatment options, the use of compression therapy does not require a procedure. After visiting Vein Specialists, Dr. Magnant and his Advanced Medical Providers usually prescribe medical-grade compression stockings for you to wear to relieve venous insufficiency related symptoms. Insurance companies also require the use of compression stockings before considering more definitive treatments such as endovenous thermal or adhesive closure of the leaking veins (endovenous ablation).

Endovenous Ablation

This minimally-invasive treatment option helps eliminate the swelling in your legs and ankles by sealing off the diseased or leaky veins that contribute to swelling.  Under local anesthesia, Dr. Magnant places a thin catheter into the faulty vein and uses either heat or medical adhesive to close off the leaking vein.  Once the leaky vein is sealed, your body’s venous circulation improves, and swollen legs and ankles related to vein disease improve over time.


Surgical removal of varicose veins is a common practice in the treatment of venous disease.  Microphlebectomy is a minimally-invasive outpatient vein-removal procedure performed under local anesthesia through tiny incisions, only takes about 30 minutes to perform, and is completed in-office at Vein Specialists in Fort Myers and Bonita Springs.  This procedure is often performed at the time of an endovenous ablation or in three to four weeks later if the varicose veins have not adequately decompressed after the endovenous closure.

Dr. Magnant and the team at Vein Specialists will determine the source of your vein problems using advanced venous ultrasound mapping of your leaky veins.  Endovenous ablation and varicose vein removal are possible without large incisions or significant discomfort.

VenaSeal™ Vein Treatment

One of the most impressive swollen leg and ankle treatment options provided by the team of experts at Vein Specialists in Fort Myers and Bonita Springs is VenaSeal™ Vein Treatment.  This minimally invasive procedure involves the use of minimal local anesthesia and a safe FDA-approved medical adhesive, has a very low risk of potential complications, and has a fast recovery time.

Dr. Magnant and his team at Vein Specialists perform an ultrasound on your legs to locate the diseased vein, apply a local anesthetic, and inject the faulty vein with specially formulated medical adhesive, effectively closing it off.  Once the diseased vein is closed off, blood is rerouted through other healthy veins, and swollen legs and ankles due to venous insufficiency will improve over time.

Injection Sclerotherapy

Injection sclerotherapy is an excellent option to eliminate the leftover small varicose veins or spider veins after the larger, leaky veins are sealed.  During this treatment, a safe, FDA-approved chemical solution is injected into the problem vein, which inflames the vein wall and closes it off, effectively eliminating the problem veins.  It may take 8 to 12 weeks to achieve maximum results, and repeat treatments may be necessary. 

Swollen Leg And Ankle Treatment You Can Trust

Board-Certified Vascular Surgeon Dr. Magnant has been practicing vascular surgery for over 27 years. He and his team of Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners at Vein Specialists have been helping patients in the Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, and Naples area achieve better leg and vein health since 2006.

With the advancements made in diagnostic and treatment options for venous disease over the last 15 to 20 years, there is no reason for you to live with swollen legs and pain due to venous insufficiency any longer. Contact the trusted team at Vein Specialists to ensure your swollen legs and ankles are not an indication of a more serious underlying health problem. Using the latest technology in ultrasound and vein treatments available, we will help you get your healthy legs and ankles back.

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